Monday, May 28, 2007

The Gospel in Batman Begins pt3

This is another exchange of word but the message is awesome. The exchange happens between Ras Aulgoul and Bruce Wayne on an Ice Lake while training with Samurai swords

Ras: "Your parents death was not your fault"
(Sword Exchange)
Ras: "It was your fathers"
(Bruce is visibly angry)
(Heated Exchange with swords and fist)
Ras: "Anger doesn't change the fact that your father failed to act."
Bruce: "The man had a gun"
Ras: "That wouldn't stop you"
Bruce: "I've had training"
Ras: "Training is not good for anything(knocks Bruce back down)...without the will to act."

This part of the movie is the key part where Bruce realizes what has been bugging him and he is beginning to learn about himself and what is inside of him. He is angry and is without the ability to seek vengence(See previous post or watch movie to understand that part). He must find his healing from somewhere else. He eventually finds it but I won't spoil the whole movie.

Ok I must approach where I am going with this in relation to the scriptural application to this quote. I don't want to make anyone mad but I also must speak in truth. It seems that most of Crystal and my friends are in seminary. I first must say that I don't envy them in the least but I do respect them for going back to school. Many of them see it as the only way to do what they what to do, be in the ministry. I have challenged many of them on this because(not 100% on the exact number but I am clost enough) I believe some 60% of KBC pastors are bi-vocational and those pastors don't have to have a masters of Dr. to preach the gospel. Sorry got on a soap box there.

Anyways to the point. Far to many of us (me included with all my studies)are sucking up all this knowledge from the scriptures and that is great but if it does not change us at the core of our being then it is pointless. We can spend 20 hrs a day in the study of scripture, learn about eschatology and epistemology, and not change a bit. My point and the link to the quote, "The will to act" is the most important part of our Christian walk. I don't mean simply evangelism although that is important. I mean in our fight to become more loving, our fight against sin, our fight to witness. We can be trained all day long and still not change a single soul. I challenge myself and those who want to spend all their time in the study and research of the Word to make sure that what we study is it "...grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to Him be the glory now and forever."(2 Pet 3:18). Notice here that Grace is before Knowledge and not the other way around. If our knowledge doesn't led to grace and wisdom then it is pointless!

The Gospel in Batman Begins pt2

This is not mearly a quote from the movie but a segment that I think is wonderful. I am paraphrasing so if you want the full text watch the movie.

Rachel : I am sorry you had to see Schill die like that..
Bruce : I'm not sorry.
Rachel : You don't mean that..
Bruce : What if I do? My parents deserve justice!
Rachel : Your not talking about justice you are talking about vengeance
Bruce : No! Sometimes they are the same.
Rachel : They are never the same! Justice is about what is right and fair, vengeance is about you getting revenge for yourself.

This is the turning point of this movie. It really defines who Bruce Wayne really was and then you see who he becomes. How often when something happens do I want justice and how many times do I actually want revenge. Most of the time I have to confess I would like revenge when I have been wronged.

Now the God aspect of this concept of justice verses vengeance. I have a ton of thoughts and directions I could do with this so it is hard to nail it down to one thought but I think below is the direction I am going today.

God is not in the business of vengeance. Some who read the scriptures would think that because God displays his wrath at points in the Old Testament that is an example of revenge. That is simply now true. That is perfect judgment. God doesn't condemn humanity based on the fact that he wanted revenge on us because of what Adam and Eve did. God doesn't need to have revenge on us because he is God and we aren't. What more of an example of the fact that affirms this stance than the life of Jesus Christ. Roman 6:23 says "for the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus." The gospel is the greatest example of God's perfect judgment!

Friday, May 25, 2007

The Gospel in Batman Begins pt1

I really wished I had a way to write down all the thoughts I have while I am cutting grass. It seems that I have my best thoughts during that time. Anyways with that said I need to move on to the subject of this post. The movie Batman Begins has moved in to my top 5 favorite movies of all times and is closing in on my favorite movie(s) of all times in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. The story, the action, and the one liners are all very very good. So I have given some thought to this and decided that I am going to go over a couple of these quotes. Now anyone who knows me also knows that I try to come up with biblical themes or at the very least a biblical principle that can be seen. Thus I am going to take this quote and hopefully place a biblical concept to it.

Quote: "It is not who I am but, what I do that defines me!"

Bruce Wayne (Batman) says this quote at the end of the movie to Rachel, the girl whom he loves, as a way for her to know who he is because she said the same thing to him earlier in the movie. Now I love this quote because it speaks very specifically to the the fact that it doesn't matter how good we want to be or are on the inside but that it is our actions that define who and what we are.

This is a very biblical concept. How can we know God and not do what he ask us todo. What defines us as a Christian is about what we do. We are called to love people. We are called to be Christ example in this world. That defines us. James 2:20 says, But are you wiling to recognize, you follish fellow, that faith without works is useless. Now do not hear me saying that being a good person will get you to heaven because that is clearly not truth according to scripture but our works do define who we are to those who are not believers.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Adopting a Child....

Bet this title got your attention. No Crystal and I aren't adopting a child so don't panic. But I did figure I would get your attention. This post is about something different. My brother-in-law came to visit Crystal and I last night. He will be leaving for a mission trip to Nepal this Thursday and just wanted to come see us before he left. It was a great visit with him. As some of you know however it always seems that him and I end up in some kind of in-depth spiritual discussion that I think mutually challenges us both. However this is not the reason for this post. He was presented with an interesting question and he posed it to me. This question got me to thinking and thus I think it would be good to discuss this in a public forum. NOTE: the key word in this was discuss...there will be no argueing and if I since that going on in comments I will delete them!

Question: What if a 35 year old single woman with no kids and no family came to me(in the context of the conversation is me = pastor) and ask what I thought about her adopting a child?

My Thoughts: WOW what a loaded question this is. I will present my viewpoint in this but first let me start with saying there is nothing in scripture that speak 100% directly to this situation. Thus any points made are merely my feeble interpretation of the Holy Scriptures of our Lord. Also this is a complex question and I am not sure that any answer we come up with is completely right or completely wrong. Reason I believe that....simply put is the context and matter of the situation.

1) Jeremy stated that he would advice in a gentle and loving manner against the adoption on the grounds that it was not the way God designed the family to be. This is a very scripturally supported point and I don't think him wrong to make it. The ideal biblical family is not a single parent. Key word there is ideal! That is not to say that a single parent is not Godly nor is it to say they can't raise their children in the Lord. Simply stated I agree with him in that the best design(if marriage can be defined this) is how it is defined in scripture which is both a man and a woman not one or the other.

2) We live in a non-ideal world. In our creation we were designed not for this world but for perfect harmony with God(this can be summarized in a number of words but you get the idea). At the fall that all changed thus we are not living in the ideal. Now this does not change the gospel at all. To me this realization makes the gospel much bigger and a much more central point to our theology. So if we do not live in the ideal how do we reconcile this problem about a single woman wanting to adopt a child.

3) Maybe to me the most critical question to ask is what is the woman's desire for this child rooted in. Does she want a child because she wants a child or what if this desire was sincerely God's desire. Some are going to say well God desires the ideal thus could not want anything less than the ideal. You would be correct there except as I stated previously ideal is not possible until the second coming of Christ. I would also say that this is a very narrow approach to the interpretation of the characteristics of God. Thus point 3 answer is what is the motivation behind the desire. I think it has to be taken in to account. If the woman wanted a child out of selfish motives then I would also have to advise against it.

4) What if this woman's motives are pure. Now granted this is not something we can fully know because we aren't God but all intentions that we can logically see are pure. Reason I ask is simply it not better for this child to be raised with one parent that is loving and willing to bring them up in the Lord than to not have one at all. Are we willing to say that the foster care system is more loving and caring that a single mother could be. I am not willing to go there.

So to bring all this to a close I am not fully against a single Godly woman adopting a child but I am also not fully for it either. In this situation One size cannot fit all. As with scripture everything has to be put in to context thus every situation would be different. Let me hear what you think because I am truly interested to get some feed back about this topic.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happiness or Holiness

Now this title is a little miss leading. I know some of you are going to think about your personal life but I am not going to talk about that.

This past week I was in Chicago and I got to spend a good amount of time with a very dear friendfrom college who lives in Chicago. I admire, respect, and geniunely value him and his views on the Christain walk. But he made a very deep statement that I need to wrestle with. At first glance I agree with the statement but as with all things that are new to me I have to investigate further and make sure it is sound

The Statement
"Marriage is not about our happiness but yet about Holiness"

My Thoughts
I agree with this at first glance but I will expand a little on his statement. A few points that will hopefully give you an idea of where I am going with this.
1. The Christian walk is not about our happiness.
I know people don't like to hear this but it isn't. Happiness is an emotional reaction to events in our lives. Christ never once tells us that our walk with him is about our happiness. This about that last statment and how it ends....."our happiness". This is selfish and if you are following Christ for happiness you are missing out on the true blessings.
2. The Christian walk is about holiness.

Now don't take me to say that this is the only purpose of our Christian walk but it is one key part of it. "Be Holy just as He(God) is Holy" Holiness doesn't always make happiness. But holiness will bring Joy.
3. The Christian walk is about Joy
Joy is not an emotion but an yet a choice we make in our lives. I choose to be joyful or not. I don't want to go deeper in to this but this is, I believe, Scriptural truth.

So with all those points stated there is little room to talk about marriage. But I will say this...My wife doesn't always make me happy. When she ask me to serve her in one form, fashion, or manner I am not always happy about it. But I choose to be joyful and serve act of love. choosing to serve her over myself is a step towards holiness. She challenges me spiritually. She is seeking to make me holy.

"Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her"

Christ made the church holy. I should make my wife holy and she should do the same. So at first glance the statement is correct but I think it should be expanded. Let me here what you think. Do you agree with this statement?

Saturday, May 05, 2007


We are on vacation this week so I won't be posting anything new after this post unless it is pictures or just tidbit notes from the trip in the big city of chicago. I will say this....we are on the 34th floor of the hyatt regency hotel in downtown chicago. I am just a big ol high class redneck for 7 days!!!